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The Most Important Sentence Game aka The RJ Stewart Game


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#1 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:15 AM

This is the first editing game I ever posted on AQC back at the old site.  It's based on what my old boss on Xena: Warrior Princess would do when a new script came in.  He would ask me for a page number and a line number at random.  He'd turn to that page, read the line out loud and proclaim that the script was perfect, since the most important sentence was always on that page and line.

 

So... in honor of the New Year, let's look at page 20, line 15.

 

So here's a sneak peek at Billy Bobble And The Witch Hunt.

 

"Isn't that sweet," said Linda.

 

(Obviously, I need to work on my first draft, because that line isn't the most engaging.)


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#2 Michael Steven

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 12:24 PM

Some lines work only in context. It's not a failing of the line, it's just the effect of setting the mood for the line to make its mark :happy:
 
Page 20, Line 15 from Accusations and Innocence:
 

"Hear what?"


Alone it's practically meaningless. Add the line before and after it and ... :
 

"Do you hear that?" Vhivi asked.

"Hear what?"

"Shhh." Vhivi pointed at the lights.


Let there be light on this planet ... And let it shine through me
Let there be travellers who venture ... Far from the beaten path
And let one of them be me - Jefferson Starship - Champion (unused lyrics)

#3 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 27 January 2015 - 03:31 PM

Yeah... part of the fun is hearing the line out of context.  They can come out really funny sometimes.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#4 MZM

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:22 PM

“Elfynn!” another girl cried out. “Don't be rude!”

 

Haha, that makes me laugh because although Elfynn isn't any of the MC, the "don't be rude" pretty much defines one of the MCs.

 

Maria M.



#5 giffordmac

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 11:30 PM

RAINBOW MAN, Pg 20, Line 15

 

"Jesus Christ!" A low, involuntary explosion of breath. "Jesus!"


“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” ― Elie Wiesel

 

~~~

 

 

 

 


#6 spineofiron

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:17 PM

My latest work-in-progress:

 

I didn’t want to admit that I hadn’t paid for it. That still embarrassed me beyond words.


"I am a fire escape. My spine is made of iron, my heart pumps out old red paint."

-- Foster the People


#7 RC Lewis

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 10:58 PM

Interesting how many land on dialogue. :) Difficult to offer feedback with such isolation, but I'll give you a three-fer.

 

 

From Stitching Snow:

 

The reprieve continued until we emerged onto the flats, where a sharp gasp signaled Dane’s first sight of his damaged ship.

 

 

From this fall's release:

 

One of Dad’s spare toolkits is on a small table against the wall.

(This is its own paragraph, and Dad's been dead for ten years.)

 

 

From contemporary WIP:

 

"I heard you got a full dose of Devers yesterday."

(Ah! There's my dialogue) :happy:


_-Snow-Small.jpg           Spin-Small.jpg
   Stitching Snow        Spinning Starlight
     October 2014                October 6, 2015
       Hyperion                        Hyperion


#8 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 29 January 2015 - 12:55 PM

Yeah, RC, this game isn't necessarily so much about editing as it is about a quick diversion or playing with a MS.

 

Still, interesting stuff comes up.  Like Gifford's voice.  I'm not a huge fan of that style, but establishing a narrative voice in a single line is an accomplishment.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#9 RC Lewis

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    SPINNING STARLIGHT, Hyperion, 2015

Posted 29 January 2015 - 01:18 PM

Yeah, that's what I figured. :smile:

 

And that struck me, too. At first I found that fragment a little off-putting, but then, if I were reading it all in context and that voice had been established, it'd probably be fine. (Besides which, I have no foot to stand on when it comes to using sentence fragments. Thank goodness my editors only call out the ones that, on reflection, really *don't* work that well.)


_-Snow-Small.jpg           Spin-Small.jpg
   Stitching Snow        Spinning Starlight
     October 2014                October 6, 2015
       Hyperion                        Hyperion


#10 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 12 March 2015 - 09:11 AM

We are coming up on Pi Day, so let's go with the 3rd line on page 14.

 

From the first draft of Billy Bobble And The Witch Hunt

 

He then looked back at Billy and shot him a smile that sent such a chill down Billy's spine and he snapped awake.He then looked back at Billy and shot him a smile that sent such a chill down Billy's spine and he snapped awake.

 

Grrr... "shot him a smile" ... I think I have to work on that.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#11 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 13 July 2015 - 11:35 AM

P14, L3 of CASSIA:

 

The thick, red curtains and low-light ambiance presented an atmosphere that was more chic than the rest of the neighborhood. It suited Bonnie, who projected a type of sexuality from an earlier period.



#12 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 14 July 2015 - 10:22 PM

Okay, for reasons all my own... let's go with page 53, line 1.

 

From Billy Bobble And the Witch Hunt

 

"Yeah. It stunk. What's the problem?"

 

(Kind of funny out of context).


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

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by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#13 MZM

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 11:14 PM

53 - 1: (YA contemporary)

 

"No, no. It's just, damn. I didn't know you had bruised your face; I thought it was only your wrist. You can barely see it, I swear."

 

Maria M.



#14 Lanette Kauten

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 10:41 AM

P53, L1 CASSIA

 

 

“What are you? My mom? My conscience?” Cassia asked. “I don’t do pornos and Logan knows it. He’s my acting agent, not my pimp.”



#15 dimple_doo

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Posted 12 August 2015 - 12:23 PM

Line 15-16 because it wasn't a complete sentence lol. And this is on Word so IDK how it would look in print.

With the fireplace lit and the smell of meatloaf embracing her in its warmth, she could almost relax— if it weren’t for the smell of other shifters in the house.



#16 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 13 August 2015 - 11:47 AM

I love when this simple game makes for an editing opportunity.

 

Dimple - I *might* buy that a smell can embrace someone with it's warmth (smells have no temperature) - but juxtaposed to a lit fireplace, I stumbled over which thing was making the warmth. 

 

Also, you echo "smell." Personally, I would either make the two smells mix, or change the the way she knows there are shifters in the house.

 

Here's mine from page 15, line 16 of the sequel to Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand.

 

"I'm not going to have my year wasted by ignorant book publishers with a big Washington lobby." 


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#17 VitaCoco

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 02:08 PM

@ Dimple: Does your MC see the steam rising from the meatloaf? Also, what kind of smell are the other shifters giving off?

 

@ RSMellette: That character has spunk (or so it seems).

 

 

 

I'm jumping into this game, too.

 

Page 15 / Line 16

 

 

 

I pressed into his touch, but he dropped his hand and stepped back.

"You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes" (Pooh).


#18 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 13 August 2015 - 02:17 PM

Thanks, Vita. I love it when what I want the dialogue to convey about the speaker hits the mark just right. :)

 

I'm guessing your book isn't in the same age category as mine. I like the "In and Back" of your sentence.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#19 Ann Robertson

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Posted 13 August 2015 - 04:29 PM

RSMellette I'm happy to see you keeping the fun alive on the new site. Here is mine from my middle grade fantasy -  P15L16 (the line from a story within my story being told to a six-year-old)

 

 

Everyone cooed at the child as the woman carrying him made her way around the room.


Luck is where Preparation meets Opportunity. :biggrin:


#20 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 13 August 2015 - 09:16 PM

"cooed"  Nice!


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.





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